Zimzelen, Bulgaria

The Petrified Wedding Party

Forrest Mallard

Local legend says that this group of rocks started out as a flabbergasted post-wedding party.


Near Kardzhali, Bulgaria



The Petrified Wedding Party

Natural Landmark

The natural landmark called The Petrified Wedding (the Stone Wedding) is located about 4 kilometers east of the town of Kardzhali near the village of Zimzelen. Along with the stone mushrooms located near the village of Beli Plast, it is one of the most interesting rock formations of the so-called Kardzhali pyramids, located at the Kayadzhik and Chukata ridges in the eastern Rhodope mountain. The rock formations reach 10 meters in height.

Formed 40 Million Years Ago

The Petrified Wedding started forming around 40 billion years ago due to underwater volcanic activity which formed the rock rhyolite tuffs. Later, after the sea receded, the rocks were exposed to rain, wind, and sun, which formed them to their current shape. Various minerals in the rock are the reason for the diversity of colors and shades of the rocks.

The Legend of the Petrified Wedding

A young man from the village of Zimzelen fell in love with a girl from a nearby village.

After the wedding, the wedding party was marching back to the village of Zimzelen, when a strong gust of wind blew the veil from the bride.

Her indescribable beauty made the guests speechless.
The groom’s father suddenly became overwhelmed with jealousy and the lust in his heart for his son’s bride manifested itself in a massive erection.

The bride and all of the wedding guests were so shocked at the father-in-law’s boldness, that the natural forces petrified everyone instantly in place.

Only the groom survived, although briefly. He wept bitter tears, begging the wind to petrify him too.

The elements fulfilled his request and the phenomenon ‘The Petrified Wedding’ stands to the present day near a puddle, which is believed to be made of the tears of the unfortunate groom.


By Forrest Mallard

By Forrest Mallard

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